Is an iPad the right thing for your baby?

Is an iPad the right thing for your baby?Perhaps I’m getting a little old or a bit “fuddy duddy”, but this seems a bit wrong to me. Sure, my four-year-old son plays with an iPad. We restrict his time with it because, along with a Nintendo, he can quickly get addicted. However, this Fisher Price product is aimed squarely at children who can’t even walk. It features three rings, a rugged outer shell and bright colours.

But is it right? The product page shows that it’s suitable for children / babies of just 6 months, and helps with “sensory and motor skills”. Those buying this product might say that plenty of other electronic gadgets are available for children and there’s no shortage of games and apps for toddlers or babies on the App Store. The case protects “against teething, dribble, drool and unwanted pressing of the home button”. Fisher Price also supply their own baby-friendly apps too.

As a tech-savvy guy, nothing much surprises me. People texting at the wheel? I see that every day on the motorway. I’ve even seen a guy driving with an e-reader. There’s also news today that smartphones have reduced vandalism by giving kids “something to fill their time”.

Should you give an advanced, expensive, internet-connected iPad to your 6 month-old baby? Should we be encouraging babies to play with tablets? With electronic screens instead of “real” toys?

The floor is open…

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  • I’ve got the iPod version, and I must admit its very useful when you’re out at say a coffee shop, as they get bored very quickly!
    Doesn’t quite work with twins though – they start to fight over it!

    • I should say we just use the Fisher Price games on it, although there’s only actually one they like. Although Siri is very popular with them!

  • Father of two

    In my personal opinion, no. But as a parent of two boys, aged 5 and 8, I don’t let them play on my expensive iPad mini because of the fact it cost me a fortune, they might break or damage it, but also because they both have their own Nintendo DS to play on, and access to an Xbox so I don’t give them any reason to want to.

    It’s the responsibility of the adults what they encourage or allow their kids to do, and it’s also plain common sense. Some parents let their kids watch/play with censored (15 or 18 rated) films/games when they’re far too young. In my eyes, that’s just irresponsible and morally wrong, but to some it might be acceptable. Incidentally, my boys got the Xbox for Christmas, and I was surprised at
    the small amount of games aimed at children. Most of them are 15 or 18
    rated which just makes it worse.

    Personally I feel babies, toddlers and kids need to open their mind and stretch their imagination, so building blocks, Lego, mechano (remember that?), colouring, drawing, doodling or running around outside would be my choice over hi-tech gadgets such as tablets.

    Most of my boys’ school friends already have an ipod touch (at 5 years old!!!) and one of them already has a mobile phone which doesn’t help us at all. My boys have played on their mates techy toys, but we standing our ground. It’s the old cliche but still applies here, “I blame the parents”.

  • annihilator

    as a father of a 7 month and a 3yo the ipad my wife has has been a very wonderfull learning tool. my 3yo actually scores a year or two ahead on brain development and motor skills since introducing him at 1yo

  • This would be useful as a play with your iPad not mine scenario if nothing else. My 18 month year old has a toy phone for just this reason